Narendra Modi is a very competent, efficient, honest and effective leader and a chief minister. The way he handled the Gujarat riots of 2002, no other chief minister in India could have handled them.
The riots of Gujarat were unique. In no other state have riots taken place in the whole state at the same time within hours of the incident which triggered the violence. Modi had to handle a situation which no other chief minister had ever handled.
Those who have made blaming Modi a lucrative industry, never compare Gujarat riots with other riots in the country; they even avoid comparing the Gujarat riots with earlier riots in Gujarat which were regular, almost yearly, feature under Congress regimes. If they did, it will be seen that those riots were called ‘Ahmedabad riots’, were limited to one city, were almost always started by groups of Muslims as indeed 2002 riots were too, and more Muslims were killed, in one case many times more than the 2002 riots and that too only in one city.
If this comparison was made, it will be the Congress which will be in the dock as the perpetrator of communal riots and the killer of Muslims.
How to convey this to people, particularly the opinion makers? Mr Modi is no help himself. To convince others, you need to listen, you must have humility, you must have space in your mind that something of what others are saying may possibility have some truth in it. Modi is convinced of his virtue and his righteousness and begins to argue before the other man has finished. Perhaps he wins the argument, but loses the plot.
Narendra Modi was a RSS pracharak and has all the strength and weaknesses of RSS. He is a proud Indian, a proud Hindu and a thinking Hindu who believes in the philosophy and culture but not the mindless rituals. He lives simply, is scrupulously honest and hard working. His administrative success is because he is very focused. But he is intolerant, cannot work with equals, has no friends, has managed to put important leaders of BJP in the center and even in Gujrat. against him.
NDA will not accept him as their candidate and without the NDA the BJP has no chance of o coming to power.
A great pity for India.
I am opening a debate and would appreciate views coming in…
(A Canadian citizen, Rajiv Punj is an engineer working with a multinational in New Delhi)